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Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Dec. 23, 2011

*Western – regional species perimeter foundation; Southern – regional species slab construction.

Crow’s Market Recap — A condensed recap of the market conditions for the major North American softwood lumber and panel products as reported in Crow’s Weekly Market Report.

Lumber: Experiencing better demand than what they might have expected for this time of the year, buyers continued to purchase significant volumes of SPF lumber for a second consecutive week. Demand kept prices firm or moving higher in both the East and West. Sporadic sales activity ranging from slow to moderate in the Southern Pine lumber market kept downward price pressure on most dimension lumber items. Prior production curtailments and those around the upcoming holidays kept most dimension prices from dropping more than $5. Dry Coastal species lumber prices were firm to higher, while green Doug Fir exhibited considerable weakness. Having continued to keep inventories at low levels, buyers were forced to again enter the market after selling previous purchases. Inland lumber profited from an improving SPF market, which was bolstered by favorable housing and economic news, as well as an improving futures market. Mild weather in many of the consuming regions kept materials flowing out of DCs to job sites at a better pace than dealers expected. Idaho White Pine buyers were faced with a scant selection when looking to fill needs. Light activity but firm pricing was the story for Eastern White Pine. Buyers who began to place orders for their January Ponderosa Pine Mldg&Btr and Shop needs reported good availability and firm prices. Producers reported sales activity for Radiata Pine Mldg&Btr was quiet, but inquiries for first-quarter business were encouraging. Most Western Red Cedar producers drew little sales activity prior to the Christmas holiday. Those orders meant to fill inventory holes for the near term were highly mixed and usually consisting of modest volumes.

Panels: OSB producers reported a strong finish after a somewhat slow start. Mill order files out to the week of Jan. 16 on some items gave producers firm control of the market. Light inventories at reloads were reported, which also helped bolster mills’ positions. Steady demand for Southern Pine plywood continued to leave prices firm and extend mill order files more solidly into mid-January. Distributors continued to participate after holes again appeared in inventories. Western Fir plywood mills needing to move buildups of spot items were forced to lower prices to do so. Sales activity prior to the holidays was light and spotty. Better-than-normal weather kept Canadian plywood panels going out of distributers’ gates. Some buyers anticipating mill closures over the holidays put on an extra load or two for insurance. Market improvement over the past few weeks in particleboard and MDF markets prompted some higher expectations among producers for the first quarter of 2012.

For more on RISI, click here.

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Craftsman tractor to appear at auto show

BY Ken Clark

Purists might scoff, but Craftsman’s premium line of riding mowers capable of speeds of 8 miles per hour will appear at the Detroit Auto Show.

The Craftsman CTX9000 Premium Tractor will appear at the Detroit Auto Show, Jan. 10 to 11 at Cobo Hall, Detroit.

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, the riding mower won’t really be competing with Silverado trucks or Tahoe SUVs. The Craftsman tractor will be set up in the concourse through a marketing partnership with the show.  

The tractor, starting at a $3,000 price point — was one of the star attractions of a recent Craftsman lawn and garden event held in New York City.

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D.Heritage says:
Apr-04-2012 07:52 am

If I had a really large back
If I had a really large back garden, something along the lines of a huge field, I would not mind buying one of these tractors. Having a tractor to mow the lawn is probably one of the things I always wanted to do.

k.lol says:
Mar-30-2012 04:38 pm

Oh my, I could picture myself
Oh my, I could picture myself driving this little piece of jewelry while taking care of our small family crop farm outside the city. I don`t have so much activity lately, so gardening keeps me busy almost all the time and I enjoy a lot doing this. Especially since my car broke, I had to change its Dorman exhaust manifold. To be honest, I was quite fed up with the big city life, the traffic jams, the noises. I have come to find my peace now, with what I do.

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An energy audit thermometer scanner earns award

BY Ken Clark

A new Audit IR Thermometer/Scanner from General Tools & Instruments earned a "top products" award from Building Operating Management.

The scanner, with Star Burst Laser Targeting, was judged on innovation and usefulness, according to the New York City-based manufacturer.

“The IRTC50 was designed with features based on input from building and facility managers,” said Peter Harper, General’s VP strategic marketing. “It’s incredibly gratifying to have experts in this field recognize the product’s ingenuity and practicality."

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